The Last Straw (1920 film)

The Last Straw

Directed by Denison Clift
Charles Swickard
Written by Denison Clift
Charles Swickard
Harold Titus
Starring Buck Jones
Vivian Rich
Jane Talent
Cinematography Vernon L. Walker
Distributed by Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
  • February 14, 1920 (1920-02-14)
Running time
50 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent (English intertitles)
Budget $31,000

The Last Straw is a 1920 American silent western film directed by Denison Clift and Charles Swickard and starring Buck Jones, Vivian Rich, and Jane Talent. It cost $31,000 to make, considerably exceeding its planned budget.[1]


As described in a film magazine,[2] Tom Beck (Jones) is one of the cowboys on the H O ranch in Montana who does not believe in taking a chance. On the arrival of Jane Hunter (Rich), a young New York woman who has inherited the property from her uncle, at the ranch she watches as four men draw straws to see who will be the ranch foreman. Tom refuses to take a chance on drawing the last straw and looses the job as it was the short one. Hepburn (Le Moyne), whom Tom suspects of conniving with cattle rustlers in their attempt to gain part of the H O ranch, is made foreman. Tom, however, becomes Jane's confidant. His refusal to let her drink and smoke, which she had been accustomed to do in New York, wins her admiration. Dick Hilton (Kenny), an insipid New York millionaire who Jane had refused to marry after becoming financially dependent, follows her to Montana. He scorns at her praise of Tom, and when Jane refuses to tolerate his amours, he attempts to force them upon her. Tom intervenes and throws Dick from the house. Dick then turns his attentions on Bobby (Talent), the daughter of the squatter Alf Cole who is the tool of the rustlers. Hepburn then resigns as foreman and Tom is given charge. He scents trouble from this action and informs Jane that he is going to the rustlers' cabin to make settlement. Jane gives him a locket for good luck, informing Tom that he is not to open it. At the cabin of the rustlers Dick attempts to kill Tom and in the shooting affray Tom manages to escape only to be captured by another of his enemies. While he is absent from the ranch, the other men capture the squatter Alf, and he is put on trial with Jane acting as judge. She acquits him, an act which touches the heart of Bobby, who had been angered by the relations between Jane and Dick. After escaping from the ropes used to bind him, Tom arrives at the H O ranch in time to join in another shooting affray. He is taking Jane to a safe place when Dick sneaks up from the back to kill him. Bobby, despite her love for Dick, sees this and shoots him. Tom and Jane return to a cabin and Tom, after Jane reveals the content of the locket as being the last straw, says that he is now ready to take a chance.



  1. Solomon p. 46
  2. "Reviews: The Last Straw". Exhibitors Herald. New York City: Exhibitors Herald Company. 10 (9): 75. February 28, 1920.


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